Wednesday 17th August

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Naomi Sheldon: “I’d love a world where we reclaim our emotions, not wait for them to affect our mental health.”

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Naomi Sheldon’s an ideal inspiration for anyone stuck in a rut.  In just two years, she’s gone from frustrated actress to creator and star of one of the most powerful, talked about plays in London.  

Good Girl, which Sheldon wrote in 2016 and debuted at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, runs for five nights at Vault Festival from tomorrow before transferring to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios for four weeks.  And in between performances, she’s busy penning the screenplay for a TV adaptation in conjunction with Clerkenwell Films, the company behind the highly acclaimed Misfits and The End of the F*cking World.

It’s quite a turnaround for the engaging Sheldon who, despite learning drama at the same school as Dame Judi Dench, had grown disillusioned by the lack of “juicy, meaty parts” available.  “I felt unsatisfied as an actor,” she says, “so thought about writing my own solo show.  I quickly realised that’s relatively easy to do, as you don’t need to wait for permission from the industry.  It’s an incredibly empowering process.”

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Category: Comedy
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Heroes: Jimmy Wales Meets Stewart Lee

Last Wednesday, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales interviewed British stand-up, writer and director Stewart Lee in a fascinating conversation hosted by The School of Life.  The event was the latest in the organisation’s ‘Heroes’ series, in which leading cultural figures get to question someone they admire from a different industry – a format giving fascinating insights into both interviewer and interviewee.

Ian Cater was there for What’s On London to hear what Wales could draw from one of Britain’s greatest living comedians and contrarians.

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Category: Comedy
London

What’s On, London? 8th – 11th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Last weekend was a tragic one for London.  But we can’t let mindless, hateful morons stop us doing what we do best: making the most of the amazing things this great city has to offer everyone – whatever your tastes and interests.  We carry on.  We must and we will.  With that in mind, the next few days offer plenty of opportunities for Londoners to seek escapism, to laugh and to marvel at the creative contributions people make to our shared culture every day.

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Category: Art
MARK THOMAS 1 - Please credit Tracey Moberley

Mark Thomas: “You’re constantly climbing a ladder, but the last rung you always pull away from yourself”

Rating:

Mark Thomas is performing his latest highly-acclaimed show – The Red Shed – at Battersea Arts Centre until Saturday night.  It is an incredible piece of work, perfectly blending comedy, theatre and journalism while provoking laughter, emotion and thought.  Ahead of his return to London, Ian Cater caught up with Thomas to discuss audience participation, lost sheep and David Walliams.

London audiences have four more chances to experience The Red Shed – a homage to the Wakefield Labour Club where Mark Thomas first ‘found his politics’ and became involved in the 1984 Miners’ Strike.  And, no matter what your political persuasion, I can hardly recommend this amazing production enough.

It’s neither pure comedy, nor pure theatre.  Instead, The Red Shed is a masterful lesson in storytelling – an art in which Thomas undoubtedly specialises.

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Category: Comedy
Burger

BBQ Previews. The Invisible Dot Ltd.

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Bridget Christie is one of the best in the business at combining a serious message with seriously big laughs. When she’s on-form, like she is tonight, it’s easy to see why she’s been winning awards left, right and centre (or should that be left, left and left?). She’s a professional feminist, a natural enemy to UKIP and that shining beacon of political progression known as ‘The Daily Mail’. Her message is socially orientated, and handles a variety of topics not traditionally suitable for comedy (i.e. FGM). Somehow though, and this is testament to her intellect and comedic talents; she manages to convey important ideas that are thought provoking and side splitting in equal measure.

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Category: Comedy